Snow on the sides of a road.

Is your car ready for winter?

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Is your car ready for winter?

As the upcoming season approaches, it’s important to make sure that it’s prepared as much as possible.

Here are a few items you should check as the cooler months begin to settle in:

  • Windshield wipers: One of the things that you’ll want to look at are your wiper blades to see if they are streaking on the windshield, or if the ends are cracked or damaged. 
  • Windshield washer fluid: You’ll want to take a look at your washer fluid to make sure it’s set for the correct temperature levels. Around here, – 20 is good. There’s another good reason why the windshield washer fluid should be checked – sometimes, drivers will pre-dilute it during the warmer months. This can result in the tank freezing and cracking as colder temperatures set in.
  • Defroster and heat: Speaking of the windshield, make sure to test the defroster, which is especially handy on those mornings we see frost and after we get some snow. We also recommend you check to see if you have any car heater problems.
  • Antifreeze: Checking your antifreeze level and also the protection level of the antifreeze are a couple of other ways you can get your car ready for winter. Just because the antifreeze may look green, or red, or blue – depending on the car – you actually want to make sure that the temperature protection level is good.
  • Coolant: Coolant is another important fluid that needs to be looked at. This fluid helps the engine continue to run at a safe temperature, preventing it from overheating. 
  • Car battery: Check the level in the battery, make sure that it’s alright. Weak batteries often die in extremely hot or cold temperatures. Some of them don’t have a way for you to check the water, but you can actually have a little eyelet that shows green or red if it’s good.
  • Tire pressure: It’s a great time to check your tire pressure, because the PSI can drop with the temperature. If you notice that the tires seem lower than usual, this is probably the issue. Only one tire looking low, however, could mean that you have a flat. It’s OK to run maybe 1 pound extra, just for the temper variation with the Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS), trying to keep that light out as the temperature drops.
  • Lights: With it getting dark as early as it is right now, it’s a great time to check the lights, but especially your headlights – making sure that they’re working and that the lenses are clear.

If you aren’t sure whether something needs to be repaired or serviced or have any questions, reach out to a repair shop near you. It’s best to take care of it now, rather than trying to figure it out on the side of the road or when you need to be somewhere.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.